In this warm glow, He has said you are so beautiful. He said it again.
Huang. Yi. Kang. He is Huang YiKang, she reminds herself. Someone she almost kissed. Someone bothering her more than just friend, roommate, coworker this instant.
No. No. He has nothing on his mind. He won’t think of anything…but wanting her, kissing her, even when she turned away. He wants a snapshot of her face to keep in his memory, forever, of that instant, just now, when she stops thinking, was about to kiss him, and let him kiss her.
DELETE. Yes, Delete that spur of a moment they almost kiss. He manages to take the snapshot of her she can not delete, claiming to commemorate her overcoming her fear. To prove it has happened, that spur of moment, meaning nothing. He has been in her life for 36 days……not 15 years.
He gives her his lunch.
Working overtime, only the two of them left in the office. He offers to remind her a Fedex tomorrow. Every kind gesture, he is bothering her, not keeping the safe distance, she says. Acquaintances at work. nothing more than just nodding heads as saying hi, they both laugh at the ridiculousness of her idea to Delete. He has forgotten the agreement. He never wants to.
Do not spark any ideas at work, she says. Even if he has to be mean to her. What a joke. Opposite of asking her to pick up the dry-cleaning, asking her what is for dinner… idea of such ease, being a couple…in her mind.
She is not aware…Sparks, are filed in his memory, delectable, undeletable.
His mind, is on what is Ji AnLei’s every thought. He smiles, he must be adding this to his file. She added an extra tea egg to his takeout she got for him, an extra salad, urging him to eat less meat.
His mind, is on what is making her laughing out so loud. Eavesdropping, he heard his name dropped casually. He could knock and enter…the door to her heart, and enters her conversation, her thoughts. He wishes, but he can not understand a word she is saying, like a foreign language in tongues.
It is Korean, in tune with their Kdrama girls’ night. If only they are in a Kdrama, kissing like the hero and heroine. Like a jolt of lightning, they will connect, and he can understand her every word.
♪Like lightning, suddenly shooting from the sky.♪
Did she wake him up?! She was in his dream. Now, He is watching Best Love with her, onlooking intently as she fantasizes a love proposal from ahjusshi Cha. So, it does not have to be a He WaiTing. It could be ahjusshi Cha, it could be…him, Huang YiKang. She evades and flips the question, it could be Helen versus… who?
Ji AnLei. He blurps out, no hesitation. Definitely. He is not giving you a moment to play hypothetical.
Do not do anything leading to misunderstanding, she says, like finishing her bread. Misunderstanding in others, she said. But no one is around but her. There is no misunderstanding.
He comforts her Mom (with this face, gahhh). No misunderstanding from others, she said. ‘But are you a dumb cow here to piss me off for not loving my LeiLei?’, says Mom. He is not. He genuinely loves LeiLei, with a smile so earnest, childlike. He repeats, he truly, genuinely, most willingly, loves Ji AnLei, he can take good care of her. For the third time, in minutes, he promises Mom, he will be right here
(waiting), taking good care of Ji AnLei. Thrice he promises, from the bottom of his heart. Facing Ji AnLei, his own reflection from the same warm glow of the setting sun in the glass, he has no fear her mom taking his every word seriously. He can be her donkey (ass) before she pursuit of the horse/knight in shining armor, the one giving her happiness. She can dump him, then. He is willing. Deal is done.
A family trip, a change of scenery may ease the tension between the parents at war, the outsider suggests. Joining as the ‘brother in law’, he wistfully fishes for a nod from her.
She envies her Mom, marrying a flawed, foot in mouth man who would tolerate her every irrational tantrum, first to say sorry whenever they quarrel, change for her, taking the best care of her. The first thing on his mind: Me. Not a He WeiTing. Why did she fall for He WeiTing when he is opposite of her ideal good guy?
He is trying meticulously to follow her logic, she is irrationally explaining the exception of her own rule. He says she is like her Mom, saying the opposite of her mind, she is quick to bite at his foot in mouth, dissing Mom, they are bickering exactly like her folks.
This time around,. enjoying the view, a change of scenery, she wants to pick his brain. if he meets the girl, his happiness, growing old together blissfully, who would he rather pass on first?
She. He would rather his own happiness die so she would not suffer the loss and pain.
Cruel and dense is her opinion on his reply. He looks obtuse, but…full of his own strange concoction of wisdom. She is delving deeper into him, a genuine compliment making him grinning wide, his manly face is a flower in bloom. She praises him, his special brand of wisdom seems likely world changing mottoes. If she will spend more time with him, he has more things special to get to know, he seizes the chance, looking straight into her, pouring his soul. She shuts him, this is make believe, they are breaking up. He grins again, at the joke he is making of himself. Dating with breaking up in mind. Their status. Wow. The endgame of most relationship, she winks at him not to take this too hard. She knows, therefore she is trying to put it lightly Huang Yi Kang. This is not a role play, he is immersing too deep, but she is grateful, certain she has a life-long friend in him after his very pleasant company last few days. She pats his shoulder, looking forward while his eyes never break stance fetching for another look into her mind…hoping, wishing he is not friend-zoned, while duly pulling yet another bittersweet grin.
A sleepover as a couple, a pre-honeymoon, their charade is getting harder.
As a fake couple about to breakup, she is not comfortable sleeping in the same room. She is not comfortable because others will gossip. but really is her own chatter of confusion within. She is not comfortable of him perhaps taking advantage of her, when he has not ever, living under the same roof alone together last 36 days. She is not comfortable he would see her asleep…when he has seen her worse off, sleeping on the streets, drunk, and he told her she is adorable. She can not fall asleep with him in the room, not even on the floor, because he is bothering her, he is in her mind. She is uncomfortable, she can not be at ease, she can not sleep with the white elephant in the room: he loves her. He is taking it in as her careless dejection, frustration, anger taking over his cool head. If only he could take a moment, and ponder every whim of LeiLei he has been spot on.
Cooling off on the sofa, he realizes his chagrin, his willingness to play along, losing control, because he fits more and more at ease in the role of her boyfriend.
Guilt hits her. Preening herself expecting him at the door like a girl expecting her boyfriend, it is (shipper)Mom instead. Not just a shipper, she is conniving skinship or else her heart will burst in pain. Literally. (WE are all on the same boat. )
‘Just…give me a hug,’ she said.
He stopped breathing, he has forgotten.
‘Hug me!’ She urges. Is it that hard to hug her?
…Not hard at all.
He chuckles. What a joke. Certainly not, not hard at all. Another chuckle escapes him, as all the snapshots of him from this moment on have a slight smile undeletable.
♪ A lot of words, can’t say it out. More confusing in meaning… ♪
He lets his every finger tighten his grab, holding her back where her heart is beating closer to his own.
♪A hug is enough. ♪
♪The hands holding you are mine. ♪
She can not fake her heartbeat, he is letting her feel his, the rush of a heart beating, in love with her, holding even tighter, their hearts, skins and fabrics apart, thumping. Listen…feel it… feel me…feel you…urging her which she needs not.
She is as occupied, as attuned, tightening her arm around him, taking in everything expressed by his heartbeat and her own with every bat of her lashes in shock of how fitting even of his head in the crook of her neck, how easy this is, feeling him, hugging him, letting her emotions run free for a moment, in the name of a charade.
What if I kiss you now…
And just for a moment, she aligns herself, loosening her grip from the hug he is not letting go, refusing to play along. It is not enough, blatantly asking her what does the hug mean. Batting her lashes more feverishly, she said the hug is nothing, it must be nothing, he is just a friend, helping her out. Refusing to play along her lie, he could go further with a kiss, following her logic, he tells her it should mean nothing. Not a thing.
Another chuckle, to cover up the nerves of lying he is joking. He has no mind for games and charades. If only she could see his dead serious face, she would turn her head away, still not ready to be honest. He would not take advantage of her and she knows it very well, she said. He lied again, if only he could care less what she thinks of him, he could. He wanted nothing more to kiss her for pleasing her Mom, or whatever shameless reason.
With breaking up in mind, as she dictates, he is drawn deeper and deeper in. He left as she is fetching more pillows, lying he has work in Taipei, leaving a courteous SMS on her phone thanking her warm family for making him feel he is part of. Just like a friend, a lifelong bff, nothing more, like she said is his true place.
She is stewing over breakfast, in front of her family that he has left, left without saying a word. They hugged, he almost kissed her. They are dating, Feeding a taste of own medicine, where is the LeiLei aligning herself not to go all method in character? Just as the script is moving along, she snarks her frustration over the harmless SMS when he calls Mom, reporting his safety like a son in law is expected to.
He chuckles, quick to pick up her annoyance mixes with disappointment over him, another sign filed in his head she is in deeper, not unlike himself. He is innocent, looking out for her, not to embarrass her further. He knows her too well she can not be at ease with him. Not even before the hug because she is in denial of being aware of his feelings for her, let alone after what transpired, when she can not deny, delete her feelings for him even when she kept she has been diligent, keeping her heart closed up, hoping it mends.
In front of her family, she snaps, finally done with the charade. She can be fine alone. She is at the brink of stress with them meddling in her life. Calling He WeiTing as He (X) Ting is not going to delete the hurt she is bundling up, they know it all. They have been stepping in all along without her noticing out of love and concern for her happiness, like any loving family would. Her eyes mist up, she is not fooling them with Huang YiKang. Dad can tell right away she has not opened up her heart to him, keeping her in line not to drag the good guy deeper. She is not fooling her mother she can move on from a He (X) Ting no matter how perfect a HYK is, loving her, her hurt is not healed, the pain deeper than she would ever let anyone close, and all she can do is ease their worries before tending to herself.
He thought of her seeing carrots at the supermarket, he has to eat cup noodles her way, his taste of happiness.
She lets go of the facade in front of her family. he opens up to Helen. He knows he is nothing more than a fake boyfriend she is using to stall her family’s meddling. And yes.
‘ I love Ji AnLei‘ He said.